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Aussies appreciate a good thrill when they’re abroad. Take the Nevis Swing in Queenstown, for example. It no doubt gets its fair share of Aussie visitors, who want to hit crazy speeds as they drop straight towards the ground, before being slung skywards on the upswing.

But you don’t attempt any of this without a harness, do you?

Travelling requires bravery and smarts in equal parts, and you need to protect yourself as best you can – even if you have the wildest of hearts. Here’s how you can experience all the thrills of adventure travelling, while still enjoying the peace of mind that comes with being covered by a travel insurance policy.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, we believe that every traveller – regardless of who you are, where you’re going, or for what reason you’re going – needs travel insurance. Life is unpredictable, even more so when we’re overseas in an unfamiliar setting.

No matter how experienced you may be in your choice of sport and risk-taking, you can never be certain that something won’t go wrong on your trip. It may not even be an accident on the ski slopes or the hiking trail; your flight may be cancelled due to bad weather, or you might fall ill before you can even get stuck into your adventure.

Travel insurance can help you prepare by covering these events and more. With the right policy, you can be covered for any number of things that can go wrong.

Skydiver flying over the water during sunset with the mountains

What should an adventure travel insurance policy include?

Some activities may already be included in your policy, like:

  • Hiking
  • Surfing
  • Skiing/snowboarding
  • Motorcycling (provided you have the correct licence)
  • Snorkelling
  • Bungee jumping
  • Skydiving

Some insurers may happily cover you for some of the above while others may not.

Adventure travel insurance: exclusions & extras

Some activities, however, may not be covered under your travel insurance policy, or the insurer offers them as optional extras on your policy. While these may differ between policies and insurers, here are a couple of activities that may fall under this umbrella:

  • Base jumping
  • Hang gliding
  • Hunting
  • Mountaineering / abseiling
  • Parkour
  • Professional and contact sport
  • Rodeos
  • Ski acrobatics
  • Wingsuit gliding

Your insurer may exclude all these activities, or they may exclude none of them. You should look carefully at excluded activities in your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to make sure you’re not barred from doing something you truly have your heart set on.

It’s not just sports and activities that can be excluded, either. Some scenarios and incidents are also excluded from cover, including:

  • Unlicensed scuba diving. Your policy may not cover you if you’re scuba diving without a license or a properly-licensed supervisor
  • Failure to wear headgear. If you weren’t wearing the proper headgear, like a helmet when riding a motorcycle, at the time of the incident you’re claiming for, your claim might be rejected.
  • Intoxication. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you were injured, even if the incident wasn’t your fault, your injury and medical expenses may not be covered.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions. Depending on your health status, your insurer may restrict your ability to claim. Check with the insurer before getting covered to find out for sure.

Are there certain countries I cannot travel to?

Your ability to travel to any country will depend on a variety of factors (e.g. your passport, criminal history). Our area of expertise is more focussed on whether you can be insured for the countries you can travel to.

Some insurers may not cover travel to certain countries, and there are circumstances where you won’t be able to claim. For example, if the Australian government has issued a travel warning for a particular country after a terrorist attack, an act of war, a pandemic, or a severe weather event, your claim may be denied if you knowingly travel there after the warning was issued.

Top tips for adventure travel

1. Stay up to date with the weather

If your adventure is set in the great outdoors, it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on the weather through your destination’s government meteorological service. You don’t want to be out on the slopes or hiking through the wilderness during a storm.

2. Check for visa requirements

Check whether your destination has any entry requirements, including visas. There’s no point planning an overseas adventure if you won’t be allowed into the country.

3. Be aware of tourist scams

Some places are home to criminals who target tourists. These scams can include things like unlicensed airport taxis and pickpocketing.

4. Register your trip with Smartraveller

By registering your trip with Smartraveller, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will have your details and itinerary and can contact you in case of an emergency.

Insure your next adventure today with Compare the Market

If you’re jetting off to your next adventure soon, you can get covered right here and now with our travel insurance comparison service. Our service is quick and easy to use; simply enter in a couple of details and within minutes you can compare and choose from a selection of insurance policies.

Get covered for travel insurance no matter who you are.

Sources:

Australian Government: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Scams. Published on Smartraveller.gov.au. Sourced April 2019.

Australian Government: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Registration help: Why should I register my trip? Published on Smartraveller.gov.au. Sourced April 2019. 

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